A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 03.
and the ebb returned to the east.  At Trinidada the sea water was brackish, while here it was sweet, almost like river water.  Perceiving this difference, and how little water they had, the admiral durst not proceed any farther with his own ship, which being of 100 tons burthen, required three fathoms water; he therefore came to anchor on the coast in a very safe port, land-locked on all sides and shaped like a horse shoe.  From this place he sent on the little caravel called El Borreo, or the Post, to discover if there were any passage westwards among these supposed islands.  She returned next day, the 11th of August, having gone but a short distance, and reported, that at the western point of that sea there was a mouth or opening two leagues over from north to south, and within it a round bay, having four little bays, one towards each quarter of the Heavens, into each of which a river flowed, which occasioned the water of that sea to be so sweet, which was yet much sweeter farther in; and they added, that all this land which they had considered as separate islands was one and the same continent.  They had everywhere in that interior bay four or five fathoms water, which so abounded in those weeds they had seen on the ocean as even to hinder their passage.

Being now certain that he could get no passage to the westwards, the admiral stood back that same day to the east, designing to pass the Boca del Drago, or that strait which he had seen between Trinidada and the land called Paria by the Indians.  In this strait there are four small islands to the east, next that point of Trindada which he named Cabo de Boca, or Cape Mouth, because it was blunt; and the western cape upon the continent he called Cabo de Lapa.  The reason why he gave this strait the name of the Dragons Mouth, was because it was very dangerous, on account of the prodigious quantity of fresh water which continually struggles to get out that way into the open sea, and that the strait is divided into three boisterous channels by intervening islands.  While sailing through this strait the wind failed, and he was in great danger of being drifted by the raging current against some sand or rock; he gave it this name likewise as corresponding with that he had before given to the other entrance into the gulf of Paria, the Boca del Sierpe or Serpents Mouth, where he was in no less danger.  But it pleased God, that what they most dreaded should prove their greatest safety, for the strength of the current carried them clear through.  On Monday the 17th of August, he began to sail westwards along the northern coast of Paria, in order to stand over afterwards for Hispaniola, and gave thanks to God who had delivered from so many troubles and dangers, still shewing him new countries full of peaceable people, and abounding in wealth, more especially that which he now certainly concluded to be the continent, because of the great extent of the gulf of Pearls and the size of the rivers that run into it, making it all deep water, and all the Indians of the Caribbean islands had told him there was a vast land to the southward.  Likewise, according to the authority of Esdras, the 8th chapter of the 4th book, if the world were divided into seven equal parts, one only is water and the rest land.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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